Washing a motorcycle is one of those maintenance tasks that many riders procrastinate doing. Some riders are simply unsure of the correct way to wash their new motorcycle that costs five figures. Other riders have heard horror stories of water getting into places it shouldn’t and causing damage. And some riders are just lazy, and they’re the riders that get to learn the hard way why it’s a good idea to clean your bike before you work on it. There’s nothing like watching dirt fall into your motor all because you were too lazy to wash your bike. So pro tip: don’t be that person. Washing your bike isn’t hard, and with the right tools and a few products from Motorex, it’s a surefire way to help take care for your beloved bike(s).


Washing a bike is a much easier process with a pressure washer – and before you water ingress worriers start stressing on that, let me expand on what I mean. Pressure washers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and they’re very versatile and effective cleaning tools. You can get gas or electric powered, hot water, soap mixing, and output pressures high enough to strip paint. Yet for our purposes, an electric powered system rated at no more than 2000 psi is ideal. Many lower priced options will have fixed nozzles, but it’s absolutely worth it to get something where you can change nozzles using a 1/4 inch quick connect fitting. This way you can use a fan pattern spray nozzle and the super handy pivoting coupler, making it a breeze to get to all the hard to reach places.

Other helpful tools include an exhaust plug, a bike stand, magic erasers (the generic bulk packs from Amazon are great) shop towels, and a source of compressed air.  



If your bike is hot, allow it to cool before washing it. Get your pressure washer setup, exhaust plugged, and start washing the dirt and mud off working from the top down. Avoid directly spraying seals, bearing faces, and suspension seals. You’re going to run water over them, just don’t concentrate your spray at point-blank range at these areas. 

Removing parts from your bike can be a great idea if you’ve been riding in any mud or doing any water crossings. Clean what you can before removing parts like the skid plate, seat, and fuel tank to really get a deep clean. Make sure to protect any unplugged electrical connectors and plug those fuel lines – many bikes come with wash plugs that click into the disconnect fittings for this exact purpose.

Once you have the bulk of the dirt and mud off the bike, it’s time to bust out the Motorex Moto Clean. Spray Moto Clean over a WET bike and allow it to do its thing for no more than five minutes. With gloves on (nitrile or rubber cleaning style) grab one of your magic erasers and use a little elbow grease to clean your seat, plastics and any other parts that are stained or dirty. It’s amazing what just a couple of minutes magic eraser and Moto Clean can do to a bike. Once you’re done with this step, give the bike a good thorough rinse.


Here’s where an air compressor comes in handy. Using the same approach as with the pressure washer (not pointing directly into bearings, seals, etc.) use compressed air and clean towels to dry your bike. Water spots on fork tubes (the chrome part) can lead to premature seal wear, so don’t just let the bike drip dry. Alternatively, you can always take the bike for a quick ride to use engine heat and airflow to dry things off.


With a clean and dry bike, the next step is to lubricate and protect the bike. Lubricate your chain with a product like Motorex Adventure chain lube, making sure to shake the can aggressively for a couple of minutes prior to use. Pivot points like your foot pegs and levers (pivots that don’t use sealed bearings) will benefit from a product like Motorex Joker 440, which is a water displacing lubricant. This will help drive out any remaining water and lube the pivots.

If you’re going to be parking your bike for long term storage, it’s a great idea to hit all of your metal parts with Motorex Moto Protect. This is a corrosion inhibitor that will protect aluminum, magnesium, chrome, and other alloy parts from corrosive damage while the bike is in storage.

For bikes in regular use, Motorex Moto Shine MS1 is great way to make your bike look like new, and provide a measure of protection against dirt and mud. In just a few quick minutes with a clean towel and a can of MS1, you can make a several year-old bike look like new. It brings back that new bike shine, and I never get tired of people commenting on how good a hammered several year-old bike looks, just because I spent five minutes giving the bike a little bit of love with MS1. When sprayed on wet and allowed to dry, MS1 creates a coating that makes it harder for mud and dirt to stick, so your next wash is an easier one. If you know that you’ll be riding in muddy conditions, a few minutes with MS1 can save serious wash time down the road.

Bike washing is an essential component of motorcycle care and maintenance. With a little bit of time and effort, you can
ensure that your motorcycle(s) are clean and ready to go for any sort of ride, and that they’re in good mechanical order as well. Cleaning a bike forces you to look closely at its parts, so don’t be surprised if you happen to notice things that need attention while you’re cleaning the bike. If you don’t have a pressure washer, I’d strongly recommend getting one as they’re incredibly valuable cleaning tools, but the same workflow presented here will work with a garden hose and spray nozzle – you just might need to supply more elbow grease. Either way, build the habit of cleaning your bikes properly to enjoy owning a bike that looks great, is easy to work on, and thanks to your cleaning and care efforts will last a long time.

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This story was originally published in Issue 76

Issue 76 Cover